The project I am working on outsources all of our QA resources. In the past, this has gone relatively poorly, because we’ve ended up with a lot of terrible QA resources. However, the last three that were hired on are extremely competent, organized, and responsible. Contained within the group is even a senior test engineer who coordinates all of the activities. They set deadlines, achieve their deadlines, and deliver on what they set out to achieve. When they miss something that stings us in production, they adapt their procedures to better detect that sort of failing in the future. This isn’t really the point of this entry, I’m just trying to give some background.
Let’s call the firm that we’ve acquired these resources from STTY. STTY specializes in providing QA resources, and nothing else. Neat. As far as I’m concerned, I’m hooked on these guys now, as they have come in and turned my opinion of what QA resources can be upside down. Through their competence, they have hooked us.
But then they’ve gone another step, which was at first subtle, but I have been more conscious of it lately. All of the guys from STTY wear polos and button-down shirts with large STTY logos all over them. They have STTY mouse pads, and STTY desktop wallpaper. They’ve made their brand pervasive within the group, and unlike most other outsourcing firms, it doesn’t take my any time to remember where they’re from. The overt brand marketing has worked like a charm — somebody asked me who I would recommend for QA resources. Of course, it is their competence that allows this sort of marketing to work; if they were all incompetent, it would be even more damaging to their brand. Still, this is one of those times when I think somebody has taken a brand and used it to really strengthen their foothold inside of another company. That’s pretty cool.